Apr 15, 2024

What Societies are Reading

Molly Wetsch speaks to several Trinity societies to get the best of their book recommendations.

Molly WetschDeputy Literature Editor

Like it or not, reading is in again. #BookTok and the Goodreads renaissance have cemented the need for college students to carry a paperback with them everywhere they go. With the increasing pressure to have good taste in literature to prove to your peers that you’re both intellectual and interesting, choosing the right book can be an impossible task. Luckily, Trinity students are known for their great taste.

The University Times has turned to a few of your favourite societies for book recommendations across a plethora of genres. Whether you’re looking for a fantasy world to escape to while ignoring your looming exams, or a non-fiction read to stimulate your few brain cells still functioning, you can rest assured that the committees of a variety of college societies have your back.



The Trinity Student Managed Fund (SMF) may be known for the hours they spend in the trading room and prowling the NYSE, but they, shockingly, have time to read as well! Committee members are picking up a wide range of non-fiction literature. Maybe there’s a secret library on the fourth floor of the business school? Take these recommendations at your own risk, lest you find yourself feeling the urge to buy Bitcoin “just in case.”

‘Chip War’ by Chris Miller

Looking to brush up on your history, business, and government knowledge at the same time? The SMF are recommending you pick up Chip War: The Fight for the World’s Most Critical Technology. Chris Miller discusses the tectonic shift of the semiconductor into the modern spotlight. The book details the global sociopolitical implications of the new technology and the sequence of events that led to its prominence. Chip War is a perfect read for those who want to flex their international awareness to their peers.   

‘Stoned’ by Aja Raden

Stoned is a unique and engaging take on how gems have shaped the course of history. Jeweller and historian Aja Raden details eight different precious jewels that have deep roots in human history. If you’re looking for a book that will be as entertaining as it is challenging, Stoned does both effortlessly. You’ll learn about the three stages of history (Want, Take, Have) in the jewel market and, most importantly, about what shapes peoples’ desire and obsession.

DU Computer Science Society (DUCSS)

The DU Computer Science Society (DUCSS) might be sequestered to the east end of campus more often than not, but their choice of literature proves that they’re not as behind the times as some Arts Block dwellers may like to believe – unless you count one book recommended that was published in the very recent year of 1651. From new book-to-screen classics to philosophical thinkpieces, DUCSS have truly left no stone unturned with their recommendations.

‘Leviathan’ by Thomas Hobbes

Leviathan is a great choice for the reader who has a few extra hours to delve into the intricacies of the social contract. Often referred to as some of Thomas Hobbes’ most influential work, Leviathan explores the role of government, “the state of nature” as anarchy, and the structure of society. Fair warning: only undertake this read if you’ve got the time to question everything you know about modern society.

‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert

Yes, the films are all the rage right now (thank you, Timothée Chalamet!). But the DUCSS committee is clearly more dedicated than most to space politics and uncannily attractive military families, considering Dune is nearly 900 pages long. The first instalment of Frank Herbert’s epic series has been deemed “the best science fiction novel ever written” by many and, of course, has skyrocketed in popularity since part one of its film adaptation was released in 2021. Find it on the bestseller shelves at Hodges Figgis, but be warned that once you’re introduced to House Atreides, you may never go back.

Trinity Women’s Soccer

The Trinity Women’s Soccer team have made many names for themselves in recent history: fast, goal-scoring, winning. The University Times can confirm that we should all add “well-read” to that list – the team’s recommendations are both quirky and thought-provoking, proving that brains and brawn can indeed go hand-in-hand. 

‘Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow has, in the two years since its release, skyrocketed to the top of bestseller lists and cemented itself as a modern classic. The novel follows Sam, Marx and Sadie as they break into the growing industry of video game design while experiencing their own lives, loves and disabilities. Tomorrow is a poignant reflection on the things that make us human, and if you love video games, you’ll love this novel – watch out for the film adaptation coming soon, as the novel’s rights have been recently acquired by Temple Hill and Paramount Studios.

‘Red Rising’ by Pierce Brown

Could this dystopian novel’s title also be a nod to the team’s (and WEFT reigning champions) red and black kits? The world may never know, but Red Rising is certainly a choice reflecting the team’s aesthetic. The first in a five-part series, the Pierce Brown novel follows Darrow, a miner, as he navigates a futuristic Mars and breaks into the lives of the ultra-rich. Said to “combine the drama of Game of Thrones with the epic scope of Star Wars”, Red Rising is a read sure to entertain throughout the dull breaks between exam study. 

French Soc

Perhaps the most chic –and probably the second-most TikTok famous– of Trinity societies, the French Society, has gathered some bilingual reads that will make even the unflinchingly awkward look effortlessly cool. Their recommendations are as unique as they are timeless, and even if you don’t speak a word of the language, carrying around a book in French has to get you a few credibility points, right? 

‘Au Revoir Là-Haut’ by Pierre Lemaitre

Au Revoir Là-Haut, or The Great Swindle in its English translation, is a novel set after the First World War in France, following the actions of several civilians as they navigate the aftermath of one of the most significant events in French history while questioning their loyalty to the country. The book was also adapted into a 2017 film, See You Up There, and made the Dublin Book Award longlist in the same year. 

‘All The Beauty in The World’ by Patrick Bringley

Art lovers will love All the Beauty in The World not just for its revelatory take on the work in New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art but for museum guard Patrick Bringley’s experience working through grief in the legendary museum’s walls. The memoir explores Bringley’s journey as he finds peace in art and has been described as “as luminous as the old masters’ paintings.” Even those without an encyclopaedic knowledge of Van Gogh, Picasso and Klimt will find themselves enraptured with Bingley’s story.

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